When I get overwhelmed by the amount of masterpieces in the world, from the vast repository of master works made through the centuries, to the incredible dedication and talent of people working today in the arts, it can be tempting to say “What can I do?” and “How can I ever compare?”
When I feel this way, it helps to remember two points.
First of all, the impact of art is not measured by technical perfection alone. As a realist artist, it can be tempting to say “If I just get better with my technique, learn more about color theory, or master light…then my art will be truly impactful”. And while it will certainly IMPROVE the quality of my art to learn new things, art is not about how perfectly you can copy reality.
It is also about the human impulse, the recording of your feelings and sentient thought, the capturing of the energy and imagination of the artist. This can be done sometimes by just a few lines (Think of Matisse’s ink drawings!) So sometimes it’s not about the technical brilliance–it’s about tapping into your heart and your emotions and letting that come out onto your art.
Second, I like to remind myself that art is a journey and each artist goes through different stages of development. We learn and we grow through each phase of life. And no artist was born knowing how to create a masterpiece. They all studied, practiced, failed, tried again, and again, and by doing more and more and refining their process, eventually they were able to gain the skills and confidence to produce the beautiful works we love today, like the Sistine Chapel. Do you think Michaelangelo could have executed that at 5 years old? No–he had to learn the skills to do this.
So, when you are feeling down on yourself, just remember art is a skill just like anything else that takes practice. It’s up to you to decide how much time, energy and learning you would like to put into it. I promise you the more energy you put in, the more amazing results you’ll get!
How will you further your studies this week?
For those interested, I have a course you can take here!
Have a wonderful week,